Buying or leasing space for your dental practice is a complex process. That’s why you need BOTH an attorney and a broker during these negotiations.
A broker is the middleman between you and the owner.
He’s an expert in commercial real estate and keeps abreast of current market conditions. Your broker is also your advocate, always looking out for your best interests. A lawyer draws up the necessary contracts and gives you legal advice during every step of the way. He makes sure all your legal ducks are in a row.
The process of buying or leasing office space has lots of moving parts. If you’re not careful, things can break down, causing you lots of pain and misery. Your lawyer and your broker will work in concert with each other to orchestrate all the moving parts. And in the end, everything comes together in one harmonious whole.
If a problem arises during due diligence, your lawyer and your broker can work together to fix it. Due diligence is the time you have after signing a contract to inspect the property. This is so you have a chance to find out about anything wrong with the property before making a final decision. These may be things the seller knows about but doesn’t want you to know about.
Or, they could be things that the seller is unaware of. You can walk away, without penalty, at any time during this period.
But when time’s up and you haven’t decided, you’ll lose your deposit.
What you uncover during this inspection period will show why you made the right decision. Or, why you should walk away. If these inspections aren’t done, serious problems could arise after you buy the property. At this point, there's nothing you can do about it.
You need to know details about past ownership. Like, what previous owners used the building for in the past. Your lawyer can use the public record to research these details for you. A lawyer needs to check out the zoning regulations if you’re planning to make any changes to the space. This way, he'll make sure you'll still be following the law.
For a lawyer, the most important part of the due diligence process is the title examination. It reveals the entire history of the property, and with it, any impediments to ownership. Working with a title insurance company, he can issue a commitment to issue a title policy. This is sometimes called a “title binder.”
The lawyer wants to make sure that the buyer can deliver clear title to you.
If you’re leasing, you’ll also need a lawyer to make sure you’re not violating any anti-kickback laws. These laws prohibit healthcare practitioners from receiving money or other compensation for referring patients to other practices.
Leasing language is difficult to understand if you don’t have legal training. You may think that you understand the lingo. After all, some of the words look familiar. But in the context of the lease, they mean very different things.
Lawyers tell you all the things that can go wrong.
Brokers tell you about all the things that can go right.
Together, they’re like two sides of one integrated whole. You need both.
And they’re part of an extensive professional network. So, if you need other members on your team to make your real estate journey a smoother one, they can help.